The cervix is the lower, narrow portion of the uterus that connects with the top of the vagina. Mos...
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The cervix is the lower, narrow portion of the uterus that connects with the top of the vagina. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV. Of almost 200 strains of HPV, approximately 30 to 40 types are sexually transmitted. Some cause genital warts. Others called ``high-risk'' types can cause cervical cancer. An HPV virus invades a normal cell. The virus's genetic information, or genome, is released and transported to the nucleus of the host cell, where it uses host cell mechanisms to replicate. In a small group of women, HPV converts normal cervical cells into cancerous ones, which reproduce uncontrollably and do not die, as normal cells do. Cervical cancer is usually slow-growing, and regular Pap tests have greatly reduced deaths from this cancer. A new vaccine prevents many cervical cancers from developing.